MJC, MTHA implement daily program to recognize grooms

The Maryland Jockey Club is partnering with the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association to implement a Best Turned Out Award to honor the unsung heroes of racing, starting with the traditional Thanksgiving Day program Nov. 25 at Laurel Park.

For each race on every live racing day, the groom of the best turned out horse will be awarded a $25 gift card and recognized on television and simulcast broadcasts and by track announcer Dave Rodman. On Thanksgiving Day, winners will be awarded a $100 gift card provided by sponsor Fidelity First.

Judges will examine the presentation and appearance of both horse and groom to determine a winner.

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MRC urges use of Injury Reporting Form

Horsemen and private veterinarians are reminded that the Maryland Racing Commission has an online Injury Reporting Form that should be used to report injuries during track at all Thoroughbred tracks in the state.

"This is important in our effort to track training injuries," MRC Executive Director Mike Hopkins said. "It's also important to see if there is a pattern of a type of injury and where it occurred on the racetrack."

The form asks for basic information as well the location on the track where the injury occurred, the type of injury, whether radiographs were taken, and the veterinary diagnosis for the injury. The reporting of injuries during training was part of a Nov. 10 discussion among horsemen and Maryland Jockey Club officials in relation to keeping the track maintenance abreast of any issues.

The form is available online at this link: https://forms.gle/uZo7bp1Xa23zJYqW6

Dirt surface, turf course at Laurel focus of meeting

The Maryland Jockey Club and horsemen Nov. 10 discussed ways to improve communication and encourage constructive feedback related to questions and general information regarding the dirt track and turf course at Laurel Park.

MJC Track Superintendent Chris Bosley and Erik Dittmar, recently named MTC Turf Superintendent, provided updates during a Zoom meeting hosted by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. The MTHA has held similar meetings in the past and plans to have them regularly given the possible impact of winter weather on the reconstructed dirt track that was first used in late August.

Bosley said the cushion of the dirt track has higher silt and clay content than the old surface, which is probably contributing to quick workout times during morning training. He said the plan was to start out with “richer material” so it would have a period topack toward the base. The surface, he said, will lose some silt and clay during the winter months, so it was best to add it at the outset.

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Gillam begins job as second MJC veterinarian

The Stronach Group (1/ST RACING) has hired a second veterinarian who will be based at the Maryland Jockey Club racetracks.

Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Gillam, who has served as Associate Commission Veterinarian for the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission at Delaware Park, will begin her new job as MJC Association Veterinarian Nov. 10. She will work alongside Dr. Heidi Thomas, who was hired as MJC Senior Veterinarian in August 2020.

Gillam, who at Delaware Park was one of two vets who supported DTRC Chief Veterinarian Dr. Susan Botts, will primarily be observing horses in training and during live racing, and having follow-up discussions with horsemen as needed. She will also assist in doing spot-check examinations on horses.

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November 2021 Newsletter Available

newsletter2021 11The November 2021 edition of the Horsemen's Newsletter is now online and available for download. To view this edition click herearrow

The Horsemen's Newsletter is published monthly by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and is mailed to licensed owners and trainers in the state of Maryland.


Maryland Thoroughbred tracks approved for 175 race dates in 2022

The Maryland Racing Commission Oct. 28 approved the state's three Thoroughbred tracks for 175 racing programs in 2022.

In addition, Fair Hill requested and was awarded three dates: May 30, Memorial Day, for its annual steeplechase meet, and two dates to be named later. The facility earlier expressed interest in have some flat racing in the fall.

Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, both operated by the Maryland Jockey Club, were awarded 147 and 21 race dates, respectively, for a total of 168. The Maryland State Fair at Timonium was approved for its usual seven days of live racing.

Pending any changes, the Laurel winter meet will run from Jan. 1-March 27 with racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday plus Monday, Feb. 21. For the spring meet, from April 1-May 8, racing will be offer Thursday through Sunday with no racing Sunday, April 17, for Easter.

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